Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If I Forget Thee...

The Western Wall, the city of gold and King David are some of things I think of when I think of Jerusalem. Until recently, running was not on that list. That all changed with the first ever Jerusalem Marathon, which was held this past Friday. What follows are some thoughts about the race.

My brother and other runners I know who live in Israel, frequently express the feeling that they lose out on cool races due to not being in the States. Now we are even.

Even before last Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem (outside the building where the race expo was being held), I really wanted to run the race. After the attack, I really, really, really wanted to run the race. To stand (and run) with the people. Whatever the answer is to the problems there, it is not violence.

One of my favorite pictures from the race was the runner kissing the mezuzah in the wall of the gates of the old city as he ran by.

I have to admit that I would feel strange running in the old city near The Temple Mount in shorts. Seems almost sacrilegious. One might argue that we are always in G-d’s presence, an argument with which I can not disagree. Still, there are things I wear while running that I would not wear while praying. In the Old City, I always feel like I am praying.

Part of the race went through the eastern part of the city. There were protests from those who considered this to be a political statement. They appealed to Adidas, one of the main sponsors to withdraw from the race. Adidas refused. Hard to believe that this was a political statement on Adidas’ part and not a financial one.

Running on the stones of the old city has got to be rough on the knees.

People think it’s cool that I got to run races in Miami to raise money for the sick children of Chai Lifeline. I would trade five Miamis for one Jerusalem. Kudos to Moshe Deutsch for getting 60 runners to run for CL’s Israeli division. Some people talk about doing good, others do it.

Some say that every step one takes in Israel is a religiously meritorious act. If so, running a race there ought to get you into heaven.

I saw the elevation chart which shows the elevation changes with the races many hills. I hope my EKG looks like that when I am 90.

Forget BQing. I want to JQ.

1 comment:

  1. I was also envious of several marathoners friends that live in Israel who ran the race. The pictures and video of the race were incredible. I turn 40 next December and I've been starting to think of something memorable to do to celebrate. The Jerusalem Marathon is now at the top of the list. I can't think anything more memorable.